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[64] When the murder of Pompeius became known in
the city, Sulla became apprehensive for his own safety and was surrounded by friends wherever he went, and had them
Y.R. 667
with him even by night. He did not remain long in the
B.C. 87
city, but went to the army at Capua and from thence to Asia. The friends of the exiles, encouraged by Cinna, Sulla's successor in the consulship, excited the new citizens in favor of the scheme of Marius, that they should be distributed among the old tribes, so that they should not be powerless by reason of voting last. This was preliminary to the recall of Marius and his friends. Although the old citizens resisted with all their might, Cinna coƶperated with the new ones. It was supposed that he had been bribed with 300 talents to do this. The other consul, Octavius, sided with the old citizens. The partisans of Cinna took possession of the forum with concealed daggers, and with loud cries demanded that they should be distributed among all the tribes. The more reputable part of the plebeians adhered to Octavius, and they also carried daggers. While Octavius was still at home awaiting the result, the news was brought to him that the majority of the tribunes had vetoed the proposed action, but that the new citizens had started a riot, drawn their daggers on the street, and assaulted the opposing tribunes on the rostra. When Octavius heard this he ran down through the Via Sacra with a very dense mass of men, burst into the forum like a torrent, pushed through the midst of the crowd, and separated them. He struck terror into them, pushed on to the temple of Castor and Pollux, and drove Cinna away. His companions fell upon the new citizens without orders, killed many of them, put the rest to flight, and pursued them to the city gates.

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87 BC (1)
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    • A Dictionary of Greek and Roman Antiquities (1890), LEX
    • Smith's Bio, Octavius
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